UC Riverside women’s soccer splits weekend play Cal Poly, UCSB

Friday, Oct. 19
Highlanders 1 – Mustangs 1

The UC Riverside women’s soccer team played a well fought game and came out with a draw after two overtime periods against Cal Poly Pomona 1-1. Highlander Kaitlin Anzalone scored the first goal of the game at the second minute mark after a broken play by Cal Poly. The Mustangs evened the score 1-1 when Kacey Held assisted teammate Sara Lancaster.

The game got physical late in the first half as both teams drew eight fouls each. UCR attempted two corner kicks in the first half but were unable to score on those opportunities. Although Cal Poly outshot the Highlanders in the first half 12-11, the defense was active in pressuring passes and shots.

Goalkeeper Jessica White contributed with five saves and the team as a whole gave a full effort in protecting the net. In the 2nd Half, Cal Poly attempted 10 shots while UCR attempted seven. Missed opportunities and chances were the theme for the rest of the match.

Both teams completed their passes off set formations but the ball would not go through the net. Jessica White added eight saves in the second half and the two overtime periods ending the game with 13 saves.

Coach Gonzalez spoke about team defense and on Jessica White’s performance. “With goalkeepers you don’t expect them to make as many saves as she did, defensively everyone worked hard; it was a team effort.”

Improving off of Friday’s game and playing with consistent effort will be the theme for the rest of the season. Coach Gonzales stated, “Consistency, I tell them don’t worry about wins and losses, tonight’s effort is going to be the difference in every game.”

Sun. Oct. 21
Highlanders 1- Gauchos 0

Sunday Oct. 21 was Senior Day for the Highlanders with introductions to all the graduating seniors before the match. It ended with a win for the UCR women’s soccer team as the Highlanders defeated UC Santa Barbara 1-0.  Andrea Morales scored the game’s first and only goal in the second minute when she was assisted by Andrea Luttio.

Luttio soared a free kick and the ball bounced off the crossbar, finding Morales for the header. UCR’s effort was consistent in terms of running hard, pressing the pass and challenging the shot attempts of UCSB. UCR had seven fouls and were outshot 10-3 in the first half.
The second half was about surviving for Riverside. Although the Highlanders were hit with 10 fouls in the second half, the Gauchos only attempted three shots compared to the 10 shots in the first.

Credit the defensive effort of UCR in reducing the shot attempts of the Gauchos. The Highlanders made it a physical grind-it-out game. They played more defensively but only created a few opportunities. Two shots were attempted and missed by Andrea Morales in the 65th minute and Alexa Bustamante in the 74th minute.

Goalkeeper Jessica White accumulated four saves and the backline defense for the Highlanders was key on the missed shot attempts by UCSB. Throughout the game, the Highlanders forced the Gauchos into shots that missed wide and high. The final four minutes of the game were intense, filled with substitutions and some lucky breaks. After a substitution in the 86 minute, a foul was called on UCR but minutes later they survived when an offside was called on UCSB.

The game wasn’t pretty but it was a tough and gritty performance for UCR and they’ll take it as they head to Stockton, CA against the Pacific Tigers Friday Oct. 26.

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